Night falls just as the hearses are already in the queue at the entrance of the cemetery of Managua: Nicaragua, where the epidemic of coronavirus is minimized by the government of president Daniel Ortega, despite the figures collected by independent bodies, funerals are at night and on the sly.
After a long wait, one of the vehicles in the funeral enters the cemetery, Jardines del Recuerdo in the pouring rain. After being thoroughly disinfected, the employees of a funeral director, submit the sealed coffin to the grave diggers. Three of them go down into the pit, to the faint glow of a lamp, while a fourth attends to disinfection.
Remaining at a distance, three members of the family huddled under an umbrella, and make their final farewell to their loved one, before another sad funeral procession enters the cemetery, escorted by police cars.
And follow the “bachelor express” of the alleged victims of the new coronavirus. But the official cause of death is “atypical pneumonia” or any other disease, according to the nomenclature imposed on hospitals to attempt to minimize the magnitude of the epidemic in Nicaragua, according to the charges of doctors.
It is as well that occurred in the past few weeks, dozens of burials on the sly, to the favour of the night.
According to official statistics, 1 118 people were infected, of whom 46 died between march 18 and June 2.
However, the NGO Observatorio Ciudadano (citizen Observatory), which is based on the lift of the civil society, a collective of doctors and actors of social networks, has recorded 4 217 cases of contaminations and “980 deaths from pneumonia or suspected cases of Covid-19” through 30 may.
More than 30 associations of doctors and organizations that defend human rights have accused the government of hiding the extent of the outbreak, and denounced his refusal to order the containment measures and mass screening.
“The lack of transparency of the regime” of president Ortega, strongly challenged since the outbreak of a political crisis in 2018, “reveals a desire to hide the reality” on the number of victims of the virus, has denounced Thursday the Federation of human rights (FIDH), based in Paris.
The “president Ortega has the obsession to show themselves infallible, to such a point that he wants to hide the pandemic,” said AFP political analyst and former opposition member of parliament Eliseo Nunez.